[Sca-cooks] Cooking for Power
kingstaste at comcast.net
Tue Nov 25 09:14:12 PST 2008
It is cooking related and something that would probably be
happily discussed in a group of historicaly minded cooks in
my living room.
It is allowable.
Spoken like a true King.
Your Majesty Gunthar, as the foodie that you are, have you appointed a Royal
Chef? Royal Food Taster? B&V? Any sort of culinary position within your
I've been collecting Cook's biographical blurbs from various sources for a
while, I have a few that are specific to cooking for Kings and other
Guillaume Tirel, 'TAILLEVENT' (d c 1395) is the only mediaeval cook
about whose life anything is known. In 1326 he was a kitchen boy in
one of the French royal households. Twenty-five years later, records
show him to have been, successively, in the service of Philip VI and
the Dauphin, who, in 1364, became Charles V. Still serving the same
master, Taillevent was described in 1373 as 'premier queu du roi' -
chief cook. He was still alive in 1392, when his name figures on a
list of royal chefs who had received new knives. He was also granted
arms: on his tombstone, he is portrayed wearing armour and carrying a
shield decorated with three marmites.
Guillaume Tirel, known as Taillevent (1310-1395)
Wrote first professional cookery book in France. It was commissioned by
Charles V. The full title in English is: "Hereafter follows the Viandier
describing the preparation of all manner of foods, as cooked by Taillevent,
the cook of our noble king, and also the dressing and preparation of boiled
meat, roasts, sea and freshwater fish, sauces, spices, and other suitable
and necessary things as described hereafter."
Le Viandier, the cookery book that bears Taillevent's name, survives
in one manuscript that dates from before 1392, says Barbara Ketcham
Wheaton in Savouring the Past; so it's possible that he actually did
have something to do with it. Mrs. Wheaton points out that two texts
from very early in the century (certainly predating Taillevent's
birth), contain the 'core' of the recipes in Le Viandier, but
adds, 'it would be inappropriate to reproach the historical
Taillevent with plagiaarism... Most cooks were illiterate, holding
their knowledge in their heads, hands and palates. When the rare
literate cook wrote down - or the illiterate cook dictated - what he
knew, he drew on traditional knowledge.'
François Pierre de la Varenne (1618 Dijon 1678), Burgundian by birth, was
the author of Le cuisinier françois (1651), the founding text of modern
It is said that La Varenne's first training was in the kitchens of Marie de
Medici. At the time his books were published, La Varenne had ten years'
experience as chef de cuisine to Nicolas Chalon du Blé, Marquis of Uxelles
(marquis d'Uxelles in French), to whom he dedicated his publications and
whom he immortalized in duxelles, finely-minced mushrooms seasoned with
herbs and shallots, which is still a favourite flavouring for fish and
vegetables. The Marquis of Uxelles was the royal governor of
Chalon-sur-Saône, thought by some to be the birthplace of La Varenne.
Marcel Dunan(d) The gifted and imaginative Chef de Cuisine at the
Tuileries. Also a man whose culinary talents often brought him into
conflict with his employer, Napoleon.
Henri Charpentier (1880-?) - Henri Charpentier was a French chef who became
John D. Rockefeller's chef in the U.S. He undoubtedly popularized the
flaming dessert 'crepes Suzette' in America. Some sources, probably
erroneously, attribute the actual creation of the dish to him either at the
Cafe de Paris in Monte Carlo or at La Maison Francaise in Rockefeller
More information about the Sca-cooks